Billie Lourd Daily

Over the years, television maestro Ryan Murphy has brought some of the most compelling female characters to our screens: Rachel Berry in Glee. The Chanels in Scream Queens. All the astonishing iterations of Jessica Lange in American Horror Story. Now his shows celebrate the women who work behind the camera, too. Earlier this year, Ryan created the Half Foundation, whose mission is to ensure that women — as well as minorities — make up at least 50 percent of the directors on his shows. Billie Lourd, who plays Chanel No. 3 on Scream Queens, recently caught up with the visionary to talk about the foundation, feminism, and the power of females on set. Is his mission working? As it turns out, the end result is even better for everyone involved than he’d imagined.

Ryan Murphy: Your mother, Carrie Fisher, is known for portraying the iconic Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, and she is also a huge feminist. What advice did she give you when you were starting acting?

Billie Lourd: She told me to be true, and kind, and confident in yourself. She raised me to not think of men and women as different. She raised me without gender. It’s kind of the reason she named me Billie. It’s not about being a strong woman — it’s about being a strong person. She once told me, “I never sat you down with a credo. It was more about leading by example.”

RM: You come from a family of rule-breakers. You grew up realizing that you can create your own rules. I love that about you. I didn’t have the same experience growing up.

BL: You’re the number one rule-breaker now! I noticed the effects of the Half Foundation before I realized it was happening: There were more female directors coming around. I ended up Googling it and realizing what you had done.

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In rural Somerset, where grassy knolls tumble toward the Welsh coastline, there sits a small, flat-topped mesa over six hundred feet tall—Solsbury Hill—it’s on this mound of profundity that eagles fly out of the night, and where fleeting voices may be heard. It’s also the title to actress Billie Lourd’s most recent of obsessions: “I’m really into Peter Gabriel right now. I’m feeling him and ‘Solsbury Hill.’ Is that weird? I wake up to that [song] every morning and it’s like a breath of fresh air.”

It’s a balmy afternoon in Larchmont, L.A., the air less than fresh, and we’ve just walked to a local café to find outdoor seating; a prime people-watching location with a side of conversation. “Like all kids, I grew up wanting to be a neurosurgeon,” Lourd smirks, “But really, genuinely, I found it interesting.”

Obviously and earnestly so, Lourd is not like most kids, as she playfully puts it. The daughter to film icon Carrie Fisher and esteemed Hollywood agent Bryan Lourd, one can assume Lourd’s parents happily welcomed her to the family business. But to assume anything of her and her family would be selling them short.

“I always secretly wanted to act, but my parents didn’t want me to, at all. I went to performing arts camp and lied to them about why I was going. I said I was going to knit,” she laughs. “I made some pretty damn good scarves while being in The Music Man.”

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The gallery has been updated with episode stills from the season premiere episode of Scream Queens titled “Scream Again“.

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A promo shot of Billie as Channel #3 in the upcoming season of Scream Queens has been released. View in the gallery below!

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Sorry for the lack of updates! Work has been taking up most of my time, but I will be updating the site with all of the latest news & pictures from the last couple weeks.

I’ve added pictures of Billie attending the FOX Summer TCA Press Tour on August 8th. I’ve also added two portrait shots of the Scream Queens cast to the gallery.

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EW.Com posted a few behind the scenes photos from the second season of Scream Queens. Don’t forget that Scream Queens comes back on September 20th!

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